About 3,500 infants die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in the United States. Most of these deaths result from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death, such as suffocation.
Safe to Sleep®
Campaign launched in 1994
Formerly the Back to Sleep campaign
Safe to Sleep® mission:
To educate parents, caregivers, and health care providers about ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.
The proportion of infants placed on their backs to sleep increased from 27% to 73%.
Graphic: A circle labeled 27% with part of its rim colored to represent the percentage.
Graphic: A circle labeled 73% with part of its rim colored to represent the percentage.
The U.S. SIDS rate dropped more than 60% between 1994 and 2014. However, the rate of infant deaths from other sleep-related causes has increased.
Number of SIDS deaths
Graphic: A bar graph showing 4,073 SIDS deaths in 1994 and 1,545 in 2014.
Number of other sleep-related infant deaths
Graphic: A bar graph showing 903 other sleep-related infant deaths in 1994 and 1,945 in 2014.
Safe Sleep environment
To reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death:
- Always place baby on his or her back to sleep for all sleep times, including naps.
Graphic: A baby sleeping on his or her back.
- Room share — keep the baby’s sleep area in the same room, next to your sleep area.
Graphic: A baby sleeping on his or her back in a crib, with the crib next to a bed where an adult is sleeping.
- Use a firm sleep surface, free from soft objects, toys, blankets, and crib bumpers.
Graphic: A baby sleeping on his or her back in a crib.
Learn more about ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death at http://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov
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Graphic: Logo of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health. Links to https://www.nichd.nih.gov/Pages/index.aspx
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